A video from XDA Developers reveals Google’s Nearby Sharing feature in the flesh. Google Nearby Sharing is the company’s new file-sharing protocol that replaces the recently discontinued Android Beam feature.
Nearby Sharing requires Bluetooth and Location to handshake with the device and Wi-Fi to complete the file transfer. This is pretty similar to Apple’s AirDrop.
A Quick Settings tile will appear shortly after being installed and allows users to choose from three settings:
- Data: Data may be used for small files
- Wi-Fi only: Never use data to share
- Without internet: Files will always be shared offline
It also allows you to choose whether anyone can send files or just contacts.
Data and Wi-Fi are pretty straight forward with the latter looking to be the better choice when a Wi-Fi connection is available. However, it is uncertain what “Without internet” options actually means. Whether or not it uses Bluetooth or some other wired protocol, it is yet to be actually confirmed.
As far as sharing goes, the “Share Nearby” icon appears after the file/s have been selected in the sharing menu. From here, you’ll be able to see the devices nearby. Both devices should have the feature enabled and to finally send the file/s, the recipient must accept the file.
XDA used two Pixel devices in the video but it was mentioned that it works with a OnePlus 7T Pro as well. This means that we can expect it to work for all Android devices.
Google has yet to confirm when the Nearby Sharing (if that’s that name they’ll be going for) will arrive to Android but we’re pleased to see the feature formerly known as Android Beam is returning.